Soul Food with Pia Richardson: How to roll with life’s many punches
If you Google the term “behavioural flexibility”, you’ll probably find a few studies documenting what it is, but these studies fail to say why it is so important.
You see, things don’t always go according to plan, and sometimes it even feels like everything is against us, but it’s during these times that we find what we’re truly made of.
Enter behavioural flexibility. Life is busy enough, demanding enough and stressful enough, so we need to give ourselves every opportunity to thrive — removing self-imposed barriers wherever we can and creating a space for ourselves to become resilient, adaptable and behaviourally flexible.
Behavioural flexibility is about learning to roll with the punches.
It’s about knowing that even the most heartbreaking and traumatic moments in our lives have the ability to create good. I know this because I’ve been there. I’ve seen rock bottom and I wouldn’t change it for anything.
It’s about knowing that even the most heartbreaking and traumatic moments in our lives have the ability to create good. I know this because I’ve been there. I’ve seen rock bottom and I wouldn’t change it for anything. I’ve lived through considerable trauma, some self-imposed and some out of my control, and what I’d change about that is not what happened, but how I chose to respond.
Behavioural flexibility has the power to help you in the little day-to-day things and the big life-changing things alike. To begin to put it into practice, it’s important that first and foremost you remind yourself that it is a new skill, and that very rarely do we master a new skill on the first try — so be gentle with yourself.
Start to examine areas in your life that cause you stress and ask yourself if you feel this may be lessened by being more flexible. Be honest. Set your goals but remind yourself that there are many pathways to your destination and allow yourself to trust that the journey is equally as important as the destination. Be expectant, but try not to expect specific things — “expectations are premeditated resentments”. Being expectant is all about being open and ready to receive whatever comes your way, where expectation is much more limiting.
Finally, embrace the adventure. Life is unpredictable and you can try to make it fit inside your neat lines, but there will always be things that don’t, and it’s those that hold the greatest opportunity to expand horizons, to learn and grow, and to gain something you didn’t know you needed.
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